My darling sister, after much prodding, has started a blog. (The train of forcing people to express themselves in this matter has chugged its way all the way to Arkansas and Texas, Molly.) On her first post, the meme that has been done by all now, she mentions her ability to admit she has regrets. This has made me think myself, as I am stressed and busy, about what things I'd have done differently. Though only 26, reflection on life circumstances, both good and bad, really make me wonder how different I would be "now" if I would have made changes "then". It should be noted that I 100% believe that everything happens for a reason. (AKA: God is WAY smarter than me, and His plan for my life I'm sure is far better than any plan I could have come up with.) One simple example of that shaped my life forever: if I wouldn't have lost my last job, I would never have married the man of my dreams (we're pretty sure we weren't going to survive that long-distance thing much longer). Despite this belief, I often ruminate about my "regrets". Here, in no particular order, I have thought about a few:
1. I would have been less of a bitch in high school. I'm confident most people didn't like me. I was an over-achiever, and I had some "mental" issues, meaning I was of course smarter and more "put-upon" than my peers. They were beneath me and my extreme intellect and intense emotion. I really thought that way. I am proud of the things I accomplished in high school, but FUN was rarely one of those things. The friendships I have maintained from that time period (love you!) are miracles I can't explain. I want to be able to instill the message of my mistakes in my own students, but they will have to learn them themselves. This is often painful to watch.
2. I would have gone away to college. I stayed in my home town because my boyfriend was still in high school and I just had to be near him. As much as I loved my college (I really did; it's a great school), I never had the experience of going away and being a part of something new and scary like dorm-life, strange faces and places, and a more challenging "growing up" experience. This regret, however, is slight, because some of my closest friends and, subsequently my husband, were brought into my life via college. Plus, I don't have ridiculous school loans. Just a few grand.
3. I would've gotten out of my first "real relationship" before I was so badly hurt. Anyone who reads this knows to whom I am referring. I am proud to say I learned a lot from those mistakes, and am now able to fully love and appreciate my husband, but so many things would be better off now if he would've exited my life sooner.
4. I would have spent more time with my sister before she moved away. We are closer now than ever, and even more recently, I "get" her. We have grown up and are now best friends. If I would have had the knowledge and concern to find out who she really IS sooner, we wouldn't have wasted all those years of living in the same state, town, house. See? If I wasn't such a self-involved, egomaniacal bitch earlier in life, my relationships would have been healthier sooner :-).
5. I would have enjoyed college more. Staying in home town was great, but I worked too hard. I took overloads of credits, summer classes, just so I could graduate early. I now ask myself: WHY? What a waste! That was the time to love life, to party, to make more friends (though the ones I have are great), and to explore new things. Another message I wish I could share, but can a teacher really say, "Grades in undergrad aren't THAT important...go party with your friends all the time"?
6. I always regret little things, too...like not offering to help, or being lazy, or not being the best friend/wife/sister/daughter/teacher I can be. These things come and go on a daily basis, and I just have to remember to keep trying.
In turn, here is a less explanatory list of things I will NEVER regret:
1. My family
2. Callling Heather to tell her I had a crush on Pat
3. Spending money I didn't have to spend two months in England
4. My tattoo
5. Being honest
6. Being bold
7. Being afraid
8. Telling people I love them
9. Drinking a whole bottle of Pinot Grigio because I feel like it
10. Adopting puppies, even when they eat your brand new luggage
11. Getting married
12. Having a blog :-)
"Life must be lived forward, but it can only be understood backwards." -Kierkegaard